Archived News | Return to News Center

November 14, 2008

ULM CBER releases 2008 cost-of-living comparisons for Monroe and other U.S. metropolitan areas

The University of Louisiana at Monroe Center for Business and Economic Research and the Council for Community and Economic Research recently released the 2008-third quarter cost-of-living comparisons for Monroe and 315 other metropolitan areas in the United States. Of the participating cities, Monroe had the second lowest composite cost of living in Louisiana.

Relative to the United States, the cost of living for Monroe specifically, and for Ouachita Parish, are 92.9 percent of the national average; Monroe’s average index reading over the past four quarters is 92.3 percent. The results reflect income and expenditure patterns for households with employment consistent with professional and/or managerial occupations.

Seven metropolitan areas in Louisiana were evaluated in the current survey. Baton Rouge had the lowest annual average at 90.3 percent. Lafayette was the highest at 99.3 percent, followed by the New Orleans metro area at 98.1 percent.

Of the spending categories, Monroe had the lowest annual average cost of housing at 80.9 percent of the national average, followed closely by Baton Rouge at 81 percent. Lafayette had the highest cost of housing in the State at 107.5 percent. According to the survey results, Monroe also had very favorable utility rates, at 88 percent of the national annual average cost of utilities.

Nationally, the highest cost of living can be found in New York City at 220.3 percent of the national average. The lowest - 82.6 percent of the nation - is Joplin, Mo. Of the 315 cities sampled, Monroe’s overall annual average cost-of-living index ranked 217 out of 315, with one being the highest; Monroe tied with Cedar City, Utah, and Cincinnati, Ohio.

The ULM Center for Business and Economic Research provides this data as a service to the NE LA community for use by individuals, businesses, non-profits, government and quasi-governmental agencies and agents. More infomation about the Center for Business and Economic Research can be found at

For additional information and/or ways to support the mission of the ULM CBER, contact Dr. Robert Eisenstadt at 318-342-1151 or

The CBER wishes to acknowledge the capable assistance in data collection by ULM economic students Chris Arnett, Chris Leader, Ashley Murphy, and Walter Smith.

PLEASE NOTE: Some links and e-mail addresses in these archived news stories may no longer work, and some content may include events which are no longer relevent, or reference individuals and/or organizations no longer associated with ULM.